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© Henry Budgett
Bella wins Austria in British record time
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Sunday 5th July 2009


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While the action in Frankfurt was truly epic, there was still some great racing at Ironman Austria.

Pre-race favourite, Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) delivered on expectations and won his fourth consecutive Ironman Austria, to add to Ironman South Africa earlier this year with another very complete performance.

As in Port Elizabeth, his swimming, which he put so much effort into during the winter set up his race, as he was able to exit with the leaders including Stephen Bayliss, and amazingly, first lady Lucy Zelenkova. Compare that to 2008, when he was over 2:30 back.

From there, he powered straight the front with his rocket biking (4:20:13 split), building a substantial lead. Björn Andersson did close a little in the late stages of the ride, but he then faded just as quickly once the marathon began. A solid marathon (2:50:14) brought Marino home a comfortable winner, just missing the eight hour mark with an 8:01:38 clocking.

South African athlete James Cunnama from teamTBB took secured his best ever international result with second place and a big PB, while Britain's Stephen Bayliss (pictured) slipped one place versus 2008 to complete the podium slots.

But while Stephen dropped down one place... wife Bella Bayliss took the one remaining step up the podium and took the win for yet another Ironman victory! Further, her time of 8:50:13 is a personal best time, a British record for the Ironman distance and the second fast time ever in an official M-Dot event. All secured with a fantastic 3:00:20 closing marathon.

While Chrissie Wellington won't be able to attack the M-Dot record next week in Roth, we suspect this will provide a new challenge, as the two fastest female British iron distance times now belong to Bella, and not double World Champion Chrissie...

Check out Henry Budgett's race report (and more) from on-site in Klagenfurt HERE.

Pos Men Women
1st Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 8:01:38

Bella Bayliss (GBR) 8:50:13

2nd James Cunnama (RSA) 8:14:18 Sonja Tajsich (GER) 8:59:45
3rd Stephen Bayliss (USA) 8:17:06 Lucie Zelenkova (CZE) 9:07:24

There were age group podiums for Holly Tomlinson (third, F30-34), Michelle Parsons (winner, F40-44), Jill McGee (second, F45-49), Lynne Griffiths (third, F50-54), Nick Kinsey (winner, M50-54), Adam Boulton (third, M50-54) and Paul Ostler (third, M60-64). Do let us know if we missed any.

Regular Tri247 contributor Rich Brady finished in 9:15:37, while columnist Will Newbery will, we think, be pretty pleased with 9:41:44 in his first Ironman.

Bella wins! © Gernot Gleiss


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